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World Athletics Championships 2013: Usain Bolt's Win Huge for Ailing Sport

MOSCOW, RUSSIA - AUGUST 11:  Usain Bolt of Jamaica wins gold in the Men's 100 metres Final during Day Two of the 14th IAAF World Athletics Championships Moscow 2013 at Luzhniki Stadium on August 11, 2013 in Moscow, Russia.  (Photo by Ian Walton/Getty Images)
Ian Walton/Getty Images
Maxwell OgdenCorrespondent IIIAugust 11, 2013

In the most high-profile event of the 2013 World Athletics Championships, Usain Bolt won the 100-meter race in 9.77 seconds. Trailing Bolt were American Justin Gatlin, who ran in 9.85 seconds, and Jamaican sprinter Nesta Carter at 9.95.

Plain and simple, Bolt's win is huge for an ailing sport.

The conditions weren't easy to overcome, as rain covered the track in Moscow, Russia. To make matters worse, Bolt was dealing with soreness in his legs, per Ian Chadband of The Telegraph.

Even still, Bolt managed to blaze through the event and take home the gold medal.

A major win for both himself and track and field.

According to Chadband, Bolt made the following claim: "I want to distract people away from the bad things in the sport.” With this win, Bolt effectively puts the concerns on hold and gives track and field a temporary moment of pure glee.

Unfortunately, it will only last as long as Bolt continues winning.

 

Dirty Games

If you think MLB has problems with performance-enhancing drugs, you haven't seen anything.

Track and field has experienced a number of devastating blows over the past decade, watching the biggest names test positive for PEDs. That's not a statement of hyperbole, either, as virtually every superstar you could think of has run into trouble.

Marion Jones' high-profile offense only begins to scratch the surface.

In 2013 alone, Tyson Gay, Asafa Powell, Veronica Campbell-Brown and Sherone Simpson have all tested positive for performance enhancing drugs, per the New York Times. Gay and Powell are two of the three fastest men in the world behind Bolt, while Simpson and Campbell-Brown own Olympic gold medals.

Even Yohan Blake, the sprinter to complete the triumvirate behind Bolt, has been linked to PEDs.

Fans are running out of reasons to believe in track and field as a legitimately fair sport. With endurance an extraordinarily important aspect of running, that makes the absence of clean runners all the more damaging.

Knowing that the world's fastest man is clean is about the only thing we have left to hold onto.

 

Bolt Is Clean

Until a report emerges to tell us otherwise, Bolt is a clean sprinter who has managed to conquer his sport in a respectable manner. He's set world records in virtually every distance he's competed in and has transcended sport to become a global superstar.

Bolt even received the Order of Jamaica award at the age of 23, becoming the youngest individual to receive the country's civic honor, per ESPN.

This is a burden that no individual in any sport has to carry. Bolt must not only remain clean, but on top of his game. For as long as he's at his best, the world will have something positive to say about the track and field world.

As soon as he slips up, doubts will rise and the lone face of good will be erased.

This isn't to say that Bolt's legacy will suffer, as he will ultimately go down as one of the greatest athletes ever. What is unclear, however, is how the track and field world would be able to survive if Bolt were to falter and his star power were to  wither.

Until that time comes, Bolt's recent victory proves one thing: The best in the world is still clean.

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